Welcome to Theatre Costumes and Characters

Prepare boxes of miscellaneous items of clothing and accessories. Assign each box of props a theme such as “a day at the beach” or “first day at school.”
In each box…
• Place a few items that do not belong (i.e. – a snow hat in the “a day at the beach” box).
• Place one roll of toilet paper.
• Place a slip of paper that describes what scene each box holds.
• Explain to students that one thing that helps actors tell a story on stage is the use of props. Share with students that props can be masks, costumes or items that enhance the storytelling happening on stage.
• Remind students that as audience members they are supposed to imagine the actors on stage look like the animals they are portraying.
• Today, as a class you are going to work as costume designers to create your own Elephant and Piggie costumes.
• Explain that in the world of theater, there are individuals whose jobs are to design and create costumes to enhance their character and help tell their story.
• On the board, write Gerald and Piggie. As a class, determine words that describe each of the characters.
• Divide students into groups of 3-4 students and provide each group with the roll of toilet paper and box of props.
• Assign each group to either Gerald or Piggie and instruct them to identify one person in their group to be the character. Working as a team, have each group dress their character based on what they have in their box and the theme provided.
• Remind students to only use props and costumes that enhance their character and further the story.

To download a PDF for this activity click here.